Male submission

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Dominatrixes sitting on submissive males, Cologne Pride, 2006

Male submission describes BDSM and other sexual activities in which the submissive partner is male, and may be referred to as servant.[1] It generally refers to sexual activities and desires in which a male-identified person, such as a man, plays a subservient role to a dominant partner. The term "male submissive" and its abbreviation malesub are widely used in BDSM subcultures to refer to such a person. The female dominant counterpart is abbreviated femdom, while the male dominant counterpart is abbreviated maledom. The term servant has also been used to refer to one devoted to the service of a lady.[1]

Variations of submissive expression[edit]

The particular activities considered submissive for men vary widely depending on local and cultural custom as well as the context for a particular encounter. For people whose sexuality is strongly heteronormative and "vanilla", merely breaking from traditional sexual positions such as having sexual intercourse with the partner who has a vagina "on top" may be considered a form of male submission. Within the context of sexual or romantic power-exchange (D/s) relationships, male submission may take a number of other forms, including sadomasochistic sex or non-sexual servitude.

Use of attributes[edit]

Often several attributes may be used to show that a man is submissive within an BDSM-play. Of a high symbolic meaning is the wearing of a leather or even steel slavecollar, whereas being locked up in a chastitybelt makes clear that a submissive has handed over the say about his own sexuality to the dominant. Muzzles, gags and headmasks may attribute further to demonstrate the unequal relationship existing between sub and top, which may also be enhanced by a lot of rules about behaviour as a kind of SM-etiquette.

A submissive man in an appropriate position, sitting on his knees, hands behind his head, and wearing the characteristic attributes of a heavy stainless steel chastity belt and a leather muzzle gag

Impact on feminism[edit]

The existence and arguable prevalence of submissive men[2][better source needed] threatens the common belief in masculinity as inherently dominant.

The views of people who have criticized femdom porn have been accused by sex-positive feminists to be silencing or excluding the voice of sex workers from feminist discourse surrounding submissive male sexuality.[3]

Relationship to chivalry[edit]

Male submission has no relationship with chivalry. Chivalry is a set of cultural codes expected to be played out in normal everyday situations. The idea is that the (stronger) male will make concessions for the (weaker) female, which is naturally subverted in sexual contexts where natural and biological instincts are expected to take over.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Online Etymology Dictionary". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Uebel, Michael. "Masochism in America". American Literary History. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Whores and Other Feminists". Retrieved 13 August 2015.